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Robin Koerner
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Robin Koerner is a 30-something British permanent resident of the USA. He is the founder and publisher of WatchingAmerica.com, an organization of 400 volunteers that is dedicated to translating and posting in English news and views about the USA from all over the world. He holds degrees in physics and philosophy from Cambridge University (UK), has lived on three continents, and has experience in the fields of real estate, teaching and the media.

Entries by Robin Koerner

Your Problem With Guns or Gays Is Not Political

(15) Comments | Posted July 10, 2014 | 6:37 PM

Last month I did something I'd done only once before: I went to a range and shot some guns. Lots of guns. All shapes, ages and sizes.

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This is a very strange thing to do for a guy born British. Guns feature...

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The Spirit of Independence: How Culture Drives Politics

(1) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 3:51 PM

To a first approximation, American political history before the 18th century is British political history. As most American schoolchildren know, in the 17th century, John Locke crystallized the idea that human law should reflect Natural Law, but the idea that Law must serve the well-being of the people on whom...

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Come As You Are

(1) Comments | Posted June 4, 2014 | 10:54 AM

I was a boring kid, more concerned with topping out in my next exam than with any sports team or rock band.

I think that was an early manifestation of a tendency I retain in my adult life and will likely take to my grave: a slight disdain for...

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Why Ukip? The Answer Is In History - Not Bigotry

(2) Comments | Posted May 27, 2014 | 5:09 PM

Many people regard Magna Carta as the first Constitutional guarantee of the basic liberties of the English-speaking world.

Fewer people know that Magna Carta wasn't imposed on King John just because he abused his power (which after all has been true of most kings...

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What UKIP Must Learn from the American Liberty Movement

(2) Comments | Posted May 14, 2014 | 8:00 AM

Of all of their political parties that most Brits have heard of, only UKIP - the United Kingdom Independent Party - calls itself "libertarian".

Being only two decades old, UKIP - now polling 38% for the European elections this year and about 15% for the general election next year -...

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Libertarian Purists: Libertarian on Everything -- Except Liberty

(2) Comments | Posted March 18, 2014 | 3:49 PM

The American Liberty movement is no longer nascent. Its mainstreaming is under way, as evidenced by this article in the New York Times -- the paper that (almost) defines the American mainstream -- about the impact of liberty-focused activists on the ("mainstream") Republican party, as reflected at CPAC...

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The USA Has a Monarchy. Let It Have a Glorious Revolution

(0) Comments | Posted February 25, 2014 | 9:51 PM

This year marks the 1,000th anniversary of political liberty. When the United States began, the tradition in which it was founded was already 762 years old.

As I wrote recently in celebration of this magnificent anniversary, those who would protect freedom in our country badly...

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Political Liberty Turns 1,000 Years Old

(1) Comments | Posted February 12, 2014 | 8:05 AM

Ernest Renan, a nineteenth-century French philosopher, noted, "Getting its history wrong is part of being a nation."

This truth has profound implications, chief among which is that the cultural and political trajectory of a nation is determined not only by its past, but also - and to a greater...

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Privacy vs. Security: A False Dichotomy

(0) Comments | Posted February 3, 2014 | 9:00 AM

Click here for the NPR TED Radio Hour segment on privacy and the TEDTalks that inspired this post.

There is really only one argument in support of mass surveillance by the State: Increased security can be bought with reduced privacy.

That claim begs the question:...

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Why I Shall Become an American

(0) Comments | Posted January 16, 2014 | 10:57 AM

Sometime toward the end of this year, I shall become an American citizen.

A few of my European friends look confused when they realize that I go around the world expounding the importance of liberty -- and yet choose to live in the U.S.

They are thinking, of course,...

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In Times of Tyranny, Democracy Is Liberty's Friend

(1) Comments | Posted November 14, 2013 | 10:34 AM

At many times in the history of the Anglo people, the abuses of liberty by Power (capitalized to indicate the official power of the centralized State and those close to it) have produced such resistance by enough normal men and women who felt their lives directly changed by those abuses,...

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The USA Defaults -- on Its Constitution

(5) Comments | Posted October 18, 2013 | 4:12 PM

Throughout these last few weeks, everyone involved in the negotiations on funding the government and the debt ceiling should have been repeating something over and over again -- to the point that the American people should be sick of hearing it.

It is Section 4 of the 14th Amendment to...

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Twelve Years After 9/11: Let's End the Politics of Fear

(1) Comments | Posted September 11, 2013 | 1:46 PM

Lights at WTC

Since 9/11, it seems that the American Left and the American Right have agreed on something of profound importance: We're scared.

The politics of the last 12 years have been the politics of fear.

Because of fear that...

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The Triumph of Culture Over Politics: Edward Snowden and American Independence

(17) Comments | Posted July 2, 2013 | 3:07 PM

To a first approximation, American political history before the 18th century is British political history. As most American schoolchildren know, in the 17th century, John Locke crystallized the idea that human law should reflect Natural Law, but the idea that Law must serve the well-being of the people on whom...

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Are You a 'Blue Republican'?

(7) Comments | Posted June 13, 2013 | 10:47 AM

These days, Rand Paul can often be heard saying that the Republican party needs to become competitive in "the West and New England," and that the more libertarian brand of Republican politics that he represents will help make that possible.

In 2008, Democrats and Independents voted for...

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Freedom and Healthcare: Is the Libertarian Party In Danger of Becoming Relevant?

(17) Comments | Posted April 25, 2013 | 2:01 PM

You don't have to be a economist to understand why American healthcare has been such a disaster for so long -- and why Obamacare has spectacularly failed to do the one thing that would have solved most of its problems.

Because of a near-evil system in which employers are...

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State vs. Parent: The Crowding Out of Choice

(1) Comments | Posted March 23, 2013 | 3:11 AM

When welfarism fails most spectacularly, it is usually because it attempts to treat a perceived social or economic problem without understanding -- let alone undoing -- its cause. Often, this treatment of symptom only serves to mask the cause, establishing it more firmly in society, typically distorting incentives and having...

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Judging Rand Paul: Not Just the Distance of the Apple From the Tree

(47) Comments | Posted February 28, 2013 | 11:50 AM

The greatest ideological achievement of Margaret Thatcher, the Conservative Prime Minster of Britain from 1979 to 1990, was arguably not the redefinition of the right of British politics, but the redefinition of its left, and therewith, its middle. She has a legacy not because she destroyed her opponents or their...

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Orthodoxy: Liberty's Other Enemy

(13) Comments | Posted February 12, 2013 | 9:54 AM

I am typing this in Miami, where I have had the privilege of sharing ideas of liberty with some new Americans who know more of its antithesis than almost anyone on this Continent -- Cuban exiles of Castro's regime. One of them, Normando, has spent seven years in prison for...

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The Liberty Movement Must Ask the Most Important Question

(94) Comments | Posted December 27, 2012 | 3:29 PM

The only British political party that describes itself as libertarian is the United Kingdom Independence Party, or "UKIP". Twenty years ago, it did not exist. Today, it has the support of anywhere between 7 percent and 14 percent of the British electorate. This rise from non-existence to a force in...

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